33 festivals. 11 months. 41,000 miles.
A Cajun Mardi Gras with costumes, chicken-chasing, and the sweetest music on earth.
Space-ship looking cars breaking world record speeds in a beautiful salt-flat landscape.
These are not your late-night club entertainers. This sport takes grace and strength to be the best lady on the pole.
25,000 people descend upon a different National Park every summer to pray for world peace.
Some call it the greatest motorcycle rally on earth. 50,000 hog-heads take over South Dakota and party hard.
This is the world championships of toboggan racing at the Snow Bowl in Camden, Maine. Be fast or go home!
A day of daring leaps and sudden plummets off one of the world's longest single-span arch bridges!
Forget the cars! In rural Michigan the derbys are fought with corn combines, John Deere hats, and serious attitudes.
Over 50 yrs old? Want to party? This is for you! When the red hatters get together, they take over the town in a sea of red hats and purple clothes.
A rodeo to top all the rodeos. Set below the Lost Dutchman Mountains in Arizona, these cowboys are the real deal.
What sounds like it might be one thing, is really just a glorified beauty pageant in rural West Virginia.
The meanest, nastiest, most filthy shopping cart race this side of the Atlantic.
Sawdust, axes, and lots of muscle dominate this event in northern Wisconsin.
Neighborhoods in New Orleans battle for supremacy in a tribute to historic turf wars and their rich Creole and Native American ties.
Three loud days in Kentucky with machine guns, blow torches, and every weapon you can think of.
This international event gathers the world's best beards and mustaches for some serious competition every other year.
A monthly religious gathering in the Mojave desert where a nun claims to have seen the Virgin Mary in the sun.
At Dartmouth College, it's a long tradition for students to make the plunge into a frozen pond in Feb.
There is a judging panel for almost everything on earth. And why not water? Berkeley Springs, WV has the world's experts.
Every year, Angola Prison hosts a rodeo where inmates become cowboys and freedom is a ride on a crazy bull.
Thousands gather during the Fall in the mountains of North Carolina to race wooly worms up a string and find out how long winter will last.
A Nebraska town makes the bold move of calling themselves the official middle of nowhere. Then they plan a parade around it.
A Swiss-German, burn-Old-Man-Winter, Lenten celebration in the middle-of-nowhere, WV.
Where handfishing is the only way to pull a 65lbs catfish out of a muddy Oklahoma river.
In the heart of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, a pow wow that tops them all in tradition and history.
In Sweetwater, TX people collect more rattlesnakes in one weekend than you could shake a stick at.
In Ocean City, NJ a small group of people are seriously into celebrating all things peaceful and quiet. Shhhhhh!
2,000 extremely athletic girls take over Wisconsin Dells, WI in sequins, hair bows, and unbridled enthusiasm.
This is the world championships of mud football, an event they don't take lightly in New Hampshire.
The Folkston Funnel in Georgia draws the most ardent train enthusiasts to watch almost every train that runs through Florida.
You've heard of Drag Queens. Well, this event attracts the best Kings from across the country to the capital of drag--San Francisco.
In Alabama, hunting is a way of life and coon dogs are a man's best friend. So much so that they bury their deceases canines.
Bowties, pastels, Ray Bans, and alcohol. Oh yeah, there's a horse race, too! But UVA's finest are too drunk to notice.
This project was made possible through a grant from National Geographic.
© 2016 All photography and words by Ross McDermott and Andrew Owen